FAMILY TRIP TO CRYSTAL RIVER

AWESOME MANATEE EXCURSION

[TRIP LENGTH: 3 DAYS]

Itinerary can be customized to fit within your time frame or budgetary needs.

During this exquisite trip to Crystal River, families will partake in observing the unique habitat of the West Indian manatees. Over a quarter of Florida’s Manatee population use Crystal River as a warm water refuge. The trip will allow families to snorkel with these “gentle giants” in the natural spring while they swim and play around. Important lessons about the ecosystem will be taught by an accompanying naturalist, and they will provide ideas on how to preserve this habitat. Families will also learn about the King’s Bay watershed through a guided tour in the Brooksville Caves. All four cave zone will be featured during a guided tour.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 – Serve in Dade City Then on to Crystal River

Located in Dade City, Fl, is the the first stop, at the RMCA center. An after school program will give families the opportunity to help mentor migrant children. Reading, coloring, games, planting vegetation, and possibly light construction are all possible forms of help to be given at the RMCA center. Upon finishing at the RMCA center, the family will continue towards Crystal River. Orientation will take place after check-in. After dinner, the family will partake in a night hike, and search for nocturnal creatures in the longleaf pine forest.

Day 2 – Snorkel Three Sisters Spring and Explore Kings Bay

After breakfast, the family will search for manatees and other aquatic wildlife in the King’s Bay. After journey by boat to the Three Sisters Spring, your family will snorkel in the spring. Here, families will discover the natural aquifer ecosystems and enjoy one of Florida’s cool water springs. The family will discover the Withlacoochee State Forest after lunch. The hiking trails in this area can range from dry to damp. Families will have a chance to go spelunking and discover a wide variety of cave-dwelling insects and vertebrates, given the availability of the caves at the time of the trip. Preservation and conservation efforts can be done by taking part in a clean-up project within the state forest. During this evening, your family will partake in a late night wade and net pull in the Coastal Marsh ecosystem, and will discover nocturnal animals located in this marine habitat.

 Day 3 – Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park

Following breakfast, your family will discover the Homosassa Wildlife Park. Using a floating observation platform called the “FishBowl,” families can observe a large variety of fresh and saltwater fish, manatees, turtles and more. The family will get to see a large majority of the area’s mammals, reptiles and birds that make their home here or migrate here. After this, the family will depart for home after an exquisite trip to central Florida.

Add a Day and Take in a Zip Line Adventure or Busch Gardens

Itinerary will be subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control, including weather conditions, availability with vendors, and flight schedules.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Swim with manatees in Kings Bay
  • Kayak the clear blue waters of Three Sister Springs
  • Explore the dry caverns of the Withlacoochee State Forest
  • Take in the Fish Bowl at Homosassa State Park
  • Night wades and net pulls for species in Kings Bay
  • Night hikes looking for nocturnal species

WHAT’S INCLUDED

Qualified trip leader – Accompanying each expedition is a diverse team of experts from naturalists to regional specialists who will share their knowledge and insights on the wildlife, landscapes and local culture. Your guide is with the group 24/7 and also staying with you at the same hotel
Daily reflections lead by your tour leader
Overnight stays are in hotels with private bathrooms rated 4 star or more on Trip Advisor
All Meals are included but please note: On arrival day only dinner is provided; on departure day, only breakfast is provided
Tour Journal, T-shirt and Luggage tag
Note: Tour cost does not include airline-imposed baggage fees, or fees for any required passport or visa.